Yesterday I got lost. Not literally lost – I knew exactly where I was geographically – but figuratively. I lost my grounding, my sense of self – nothing made sense and I started to ask what the hell I was doing.
I was overwhelmed with emotions: anger, sadness, frustration, despair, loneliness and self loathing consumed me. I lost the ability to be present, in the moment, experiencing the life I am living – instead swirling round inside my head thinking awful thoughts, beating myself up, not liking myself, my thoughts or my behaviour at all.
I’m currently attending a three day VSO Livelihoods programme review workshop in Battambang province 5 hours north-west of Phnom Penh and hiding this tornado inside me has been tough. People here inadvertently pushed buttons (another cockwomble incident sadly), the smallest thing wound me up and at times I failed to hide how I was feeling. All that served to do was to make me hate myself a little bit more, to beat myself up with a bigger stick and sink a little further.
Thankfully, I eventually took to Whats App to ask for help and as usual St Vicky was there as she always is just when I need her!!
With her support and encouragement, I turned to what I already knew would help. I took myself away from the situation, initially for 5 minutes’ meditation and a good cry in the loo, and latterly by turning down an invitation to go with the group to the circus in the evening and retreating to the solitude of my room. And there I chose the sensible route of distracting myself with TV before sinking into blissful, restorative sleep.
Fast forward 9 hours and the dawn was breaking over Battambang. Rather than lying in bed, wasting the time mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, I decided to start my day right and head out for a walk. As I wandered slowly through the streets (getting a little bit lost literally this time) I saw once more the beauty of my surroundings (and captured quite a lot of it in the pics below), I reconnected with what I’m doing, why I’m here and most importantly, the fact that I am okay and slowly but surely I eventually came back to me.